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Real estate hideaways for castaways

The island life: private paradise or pirate's plunder?

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Want to get away -- really, really away? You could consider buying your own island, where privacy goes with the territory. There's a surprisingly ample supply of privately owned islands, with prices that range from stratospheric to -- well, we won't use the word "affordable," but some are cheaper than you might think. And in this economy, you could get a real deal. Five things to know about private islands: 1. They're more or less on sale these days, said Chris Krolow, president of PrivateIslandsOnline.com, a marketing firm in Toronto that specializes in such properties. "The last couple of years have been difficult," he said. "More have been on the market because the prices were quite bloated, and now prices have come down. There are more reasonable market values than three years ago, though there's still room to go down. Inquiries seem to be picking up, though." What you get for the money ranges from small, undeveloped patches on a North Wo...